“Be you, the world will adjust. -Unknown”

Before my journey started in Positive Psychology, I really was unsure of what to expect. Things crossed my mind like happiness and how to live a bubbly lifestyle. I was curious if this information was going to be beneficial to me, and my quest to become a high school teacher or counselor. I wanted my perception to be open and just take the class to see how I could promote a more positive lifestyle for myself and others around me. A huge turning point in this course for me is known as the concept of FLOW.

 Achieving FLOW Through What You Love

Alan Carr, the author of Positive Psychology, wrote, “FLOW is the subjective state that people report when they become engaged in controllable but challenging tasks or activities that require considerable skill and that is intrinsically motivating…” 1 . This is such a fascinating concept that humans reach through diverse manners. For instance, someone can achieve flow through writing in a journal, a meaningful conversation, competing in a sporting event, or various visual art activities, which happens to be one of my areas where I reach flow. This brings me to a state of peace where I can express myself fully.

Painting Myself into the Picture of FLOW

Acrylic painting is my preferred medium. Seeing the colors mix and creating perfect shades becomes a challenge that I have to figure out. Discovering how to add color in order to create tints and shades on the canvas is methodical and a bit overwhelming at times. Finding something to spark an idea is such a painstaking process, but when you uncover something you feel like capturing in a picture, you want to invest your time and ambition creating that vision. I find it so inspiring watching someone else achieve their FLOW. Seeing passion and motivation at work inspires you to create your own vision and find your own flow within yourself. That is why this concept makes such an impact on me because all human beings find this feeling through many diverse areas.

There is a Place for FLOW in the Classroom

Becoming a teacher is what I have devoted the past five years of my life to, and being a teacher is what I am going to be devoting the rest of my life to. I plan to instill this concept in the minds and hearts of my students; it is not enough for me to just find flow in my life through what I am passionate about. Making it part of my teaching career to promote a positive outlook for all students will a huge part of how I teach. I want to encourage students to find their passions and find their FLOW. Even more rewarding will be to watch as they pursue this through whatever they choose.

1Carr, A. (2011). Positive psychology: The science of happiness and human strengths. New York, NY: Routledge

About the Author: Tessa Hartness is a student at Chaminade University. She is studying Secondary Education Social Studies with a minor in Psychology. Tessa hopes to begin teaching within the next year and a half. She enjoys spending lots of quality time with her husband and wonderful dog, Hades.

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